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While on the phone I told her I had canned tomatoes hot water and why this recipe asked for a pressure cooker. She said I would have to reprocess the tomatoes and soup by opening all the jars and reheating to a hard boil for 5 minutes and then pressure cook. Everything I find online about reprocessing says it has to be done within 24 hours.

Are my jars of tomatoes and soup going to be ok not that I reprocessed them. I am almost scared to eat any of it even though I followed the extension office directions to reprocess. I found out that the girl answering my question at the local extension office had never canned and had no idea how to go about it.. She looked everything up in a book she had. You know, I can do that myself. Half of my batch is gone. What should I do with the other 15 jars?

The soup is spoiling. It is not safe to can low acid foods like vegetable soup in a boiling water bath canner. I should add that I did this in a water bath…as I always have. The jars I have thrown away get cloudy. The ones that are still on the shelf tonight are clear. Just canned Roma tomatoes for the first time and carefully followed the directions.

Thought I had to throw them out because all the tomatoes were floating. Now they are safe for a winter soup! Last year I made tomato sauce for the first time in a long time. Every time we used it, it was kind of unappealing because it separated into solids and liquids. Can you tell me what I did wrong? Tomato sauce often does that if you cook the sauce, then cool it off, and then reheat it to can it. Once you start heating tomatoes, you need to keep them hot right until they go into the canner.

I make it a day ahead, then let it cool off, then I store it in the fridge.


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I have a question that may or may not have been discussed already. I processed my first batch of tomatoes this year and followed all the rules: Is there a good explanation for what appears to be tomato residue in my water bath water? I could smell tomatoes as they were processing and feared the worst: So…how safe is my product? Secondly, I have…oh…about another 30 lbs. Any advice is most appreciated. As long as the jars are sealed, they are safe. No need to worry. Thanks, Marisa, for the feedback. I went ahead and processed my 2nd batch before your reply, and I had no issues with that one. Lastly, keep up the good work!

Your blog and books are so inspiring and certainly unique. I had a TON of siphoning happen with all 8 of my jars, even after I pulled them out of the hot water and separation of tomatoes from the liquid in the jar. Thank you so much for your help! They were a huge hit. My mother, who gives me a cookbook annually as my Christmas gift from Santa, gave me your book a couple years ago, and I just branched right out into pickles and things.

Thank goodness none of my jam ever went bad. In , I found that I can no longer have commercially-canned tomato products, due to BPA issues, and I worried that all my beloved tomato-based recipes would be gone from my life. I waited until tomato season and canned a batch of crushed tomatoes, just as a test, from your recipe.

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Pretty much all of my sauce has separated, so far. There are also plenty of other delightful things in my pantry that owe their existence or inspiration to your recipes. Because ripe tomatoes contain more water, so they are denser than unripe green tomatoes. If you want an easy way to check this, pick up a ripe and an unripe tomato of the same size; the ripe one will weigh more. I waterbathed all my tomato sauce for sealing, they were sealed but during the process I realized some of the water enter my jars. Is this a problem, are my jars sauce contaminated or can I still store them.

Are they filled to the top with water? If they are filled to the very top, you should probably open the jars, remove the water, heat the sauce, and refill and process the jars. I will double check to see if they are filled to the top, is it possible that I have separation of the sauce and water. If this is the case do I still have to reprocess. My water level was at the neck of the bottle instead of an inch over.

I still processed them the accurate time and they sealed fine, what should I look for if they are spoiled??? It seems to have separated with the sauce, Should I do something. Like this post says, separation is totally normal. The air bubbles are not a concern unless they are moving actively on their own, without any agitation of the jar from you. Wages salsa, and when done had liquid on bottom, but a bunch of air bubbles, the lids seem sealed no ping or anything , but still wondering if we should just refrigerate and eat in the next couple of weeks or so instead of putting on shelves for later this winter.

I canned 4 quarts of tomatoes yesterday. When they were in the water bath, the temperature dropped! Once I discovered this, I got the heat back up…. I had what appeared to be water at the bottom of the jars! Well once the jars appeared to be sealed, I gave them all a good shake. Thanks so much for your advice! A worry wart here! If you processed the jars for the required amount of time and the jars are well-sealed, they are safe to eat. You may also want to check out this post on tomato canning […].

I am new to canning and tried whole peeled tomatoes for the first time yesterday — but I think I made a really bad mistake — I accidentally used the canning magnet instead of the spatula to get out the air bubbles I know…. It seemed like the bubbles were out, I processed the jars for the right amount of time, and the seals are OK. I did notice some bubbles this morning though…. My concern is that every post I am reading on this topic now is saying to use a non metallic spatula. Are the tomatoes safe to eat?

Or should I throw them all out? So upset right now! The brief contact with the magnet should not have imparted a metallic flavor into the tomatoes. Keep the tomatoes, they should be fine. I was really hoping you would say that — Tossing 16 jars of tomatoes would be so frustrating! Thanks for this post. I just canned my first batch of crushed tomatoes and I cooked them longer than five minutes. The jars took longer to sterilize than I had thought. I know better for next time and can relax that my tomatoes separated.

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Canning 101: Home Canned Tomatoes

There are also air bubbles but they are not moving. I made salsa and canned them. It seemed that they sealed fine, but when I opened the jar the salsa expanded, spilling out of the jar. When I tasted the salsa it left my tongue tingling, but did not smell bad. I had several quart jars that did this, and several smaller jars that were fine. Any idea why this happened? Tiffany, it sounds like the salsa fermented in the jars. Did you increase the processing time for the quart jars? Any time you can a product that is designed for canning in pints, you need to up the processing time by five minutes if you use quarts instead.

I tried pressuring canning tomaotes for the first time. Could having them in the hot water for too long to blanche caused this problem? I also put 2tbl. I saw the picture you included with the post but my cans have a significant amount of clear liquid on the bottom. Any help is appreciated! Thank- you for your response. As that was my first attempt at canning it was a concern and i am glad to know that it is normal. I have found your website extremely helpful! Thank you so much for your detailed responses to these questions!

I just canned a bunch of crushed tomatoes today and many of the jars did not seal. Is it possible to re-process them tomorrow or to empty the jars, re-heat the tomatoes, re-pack, re-process? Wipe the rims and apply new lids. Place jars in a canning pot filled with room temperature water. Put it on the stove and slowly bring it back up to a boil. Once it boils, start the timer and process as you regularly do. The tomatoes will be a bit softer and you may see some significant water separation, but they will be safe. I just retired so I am trying to learn to economize by canning garden produce i would have previously wasted.

I tried canning tomatoes, cut in quarters, in 28 ounce jars in a water canner. NEVER have canned before. The tomatoes are floating above the liquid but the lids are sealed fine. Did I not tighten the rings enough when canning and the water over the jars got into the canned tomatoes? Are they safe to eat? The water in the bottom of your jars came from the tomatoes, not from the canning pot. You tightened your jars just fine. This happens and they are safe to eat. Many thanks, my first batch of tomato canning went fine, but the second batch had one can that sealed well, but had air bubbles — so I know that that one is ok.

Thank you for making this very helpful website! Is it ok to turn it off, cover and finish the thickening and processing tomorrow evening when I get home from work? Thank you, any help much appreciated! This is driving me crazy! Give it a little more time because it sounds like those are cooling and settling bubbles. You really only need to be concerned about bubbles that move on their own after days or weeks, because they can be signs of fermentation.

Hi, Hoping you can help. I canned 30 lbs of diced tomatoes last year, all jars sealed well. Out of the eight or so jars left some where not sealed and all of them had a weird sweet smell. I packed the diced tomatoes cold into hot jars with lemon and salt, and processed them as per the ball recipe book in a water bath canner. I stored them in my pantry that is the same temperature as my home and it is not always dark. I would like to can tomatoes again but want to be sure where I made my mistakes so that my work is not wasted.

Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. I have both your books and really enjoy them. Thank you for bringing this important skill into the modern age! Are you working with a modern Ball book or an older edition? The recipes here are the most up to date information: I checked out the link you sent and they recommended a much longer processing time for raw pack than I did. Maybe I will be brave and try again! Thanks for the link. The jars were kept in a cool, dry, dark place while I was gone, can I put this unsealed jar in the fridge and use it later or should I just toss it?

I have several ill family members and am always tired. My first time canning tomatoes, I fell asleep while my jars were boiling. Not 30 mins, but 3 hrs and half of the jars were exposed and the tomatos rose to the top in the jars with an inch or two of liquid in the bottom. They did seal just fine. I am so exhausted as a caretaker and was making them for family. Like so many women here, canning tomatos for the first time and having a mishap is heartbreaking and can bring you to tears. Thank you for your rescue forum. I had no one to call and then found your site.

I so much appreciate your rapid response. I learned a lot from all the posts. Thank you sooo much. I canned a batch of tomatoes; however, during the process, my stove broke down. The jars were only processed about 20 minutes but the jars have a good seal. Are they safe to use? Can I put them back and process for the remainder of the time with a sealed lid? HI — I canned tomatoes and read the instructions incorrectly and only had in boiling water for 25 minutes. What do you think I should do?

You have to use your own judgment here. The chances of that happening are relatively slim, but present. I canned whole tomatoes yesterday…late at night. They all have a lot of liquid loss, even though I filled them with boiling water with headspace of course and added 2T lemon juice to the cans.

Now when I try to re-can them, Should I combine jars or add more boiling water to make up for liquid loss? I was just panning on reheating the contents, filling the jars.


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Adding a new lid and reprocess. How much liquid did they lose? The texture is going to be really bad if you do. So I have to do something. I have 6 quarts that sealed. Although the sealed jars have also lost liquid. Or chili for dinner today?? The ones that did seal are safe. I actually just threw 3 jars into quart bags, then tossed in in the freezer.

And we had chili for dinner yesterday with the 4th jar. All of the jars sealed. Should I open them and redo the canning process? My question is what if my good tomatoes were sitting in a bucket with some rotten tomatoes, is it bad to can the good tomatoes still? I processed tomato sauce last night and when I was in bed I realized I forgot to add the citric acid. I did add white wine while cooking the tomato sauce. Do I need to reprocess today adding the citric acid. This post was so helpful! The first time I canned whole tomatoes I used pretty big ones and everything turned out well.

The second time I used smaller heirloom tomatoes. I think I have both tomato float and siphoning. I canned my stewed tomatoes in a pressure canner the same way I did for the last 6 years. I never had a problem until this time.

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Only four of the 20 jars sealed! I followed ALL directions to the letter. I thought I had a bad batch of seals until I realized that all the jars I had done in my water bath canner had sealed perfectly. Can I reprocess them? I reprocessed some spaghetti sauce last week that I had the same problems with and the sauce got VERY strong and bitter tasting. Will that happen to my stewed tomatoes too? You should be able to reprocess them. Empty the jars, reheat the tomatoes, refill, and reprocess. I canned raw tomatoes according to the Ball canning recipe. When quartering the tomatoes I scooped out a lot of the clear gel with seeds.

I packed the jars full and removed air bubbles. I pressure canned them to be safe. Pretty quickly, I noticed air bubble rising to the top of the jar. About 2 hours later, I noticed the liquid on the bottom, solid tomatoes in the middle and about an inches of air on top. No more air bubbles are rising. How will I know if they are not? They are totally safe. What about if you go to use a jar and open it up and the tomatoes come up over the jar and spill out and you see bubbles bubbling. Somehow, bacteria survived the canning process. I processed 8 lbs. I stored the chopped tomatoes in my pantry overnight.

I think the temp was between degree. It felt pretty cool. By that time I notice a slight off Oder and some of the solids had floated to the top while the liquid was at the bottom. Also, when I put it in the pan to boil I noitce some bubbles. Not a lot but, enough to be concerned. I pressure canned the tomatoes for 15 mins at 10 lbs. If I did use them I would boilg them out of the jar for minutes.

Anyway, my question is would the pressure canning destroy the organisms of the beginning process of fermentation? Just wanted some other canners opinions. I do know the saying…when in doubt throw it out. The pressure canning should have killed off any fermentation process. My father is a seasoned tomato canner and has been for more than 50 years. He re-uses old jars from bought tomatoes, jams, jellies etc. This year I decided to join in and canned my own with his help. We water bath as my dad has always done. Here is the problem. I bought brand new preserving jars and the supplier told me they were fine for what I was doing.

So we sealed all the jars we are burley men so I know we did them up tight! We boiled them for about 1. Out of the new jars, more than half had filled with water and the lids had become loose. Even the good batch had slightly loose lids but not enough to let water in. I tightened up all of the lids on all jars and the ones that had let water in have now expanded lids not the jars and are now sealed very tight.

I have two questions. Is the purpose of water bathing to remove the air from the jar and making the jar airtight therefore preserving tomatoes? I also have some of the jars that have a milky white looking substance at the bottom of the jar on the inside of course. Would love to hear your take on this incident. I think ew need more information before we can try to answer your questions. There should only be about a half inch of head space empty space at the top of the jar after you fill it with product.

If you are using a raw pack method, you need to fill the space around the fruit with water or tomato juice before you put the lids on. Second, whether you are using the two-piece lid system a band and a lid or a lug lid designed with a water-bath sealant, you should not crank the lids down tight. They should just be closed, not tightened sometimes called fingertip tight. This is because during the water bath the air in the headpace expands and escapes from the jar. Then when the jars cool, the air in the headspace contracts and pulls the lid down tight, creating an indentation in the plastisol sealant on the inside of the lid where it is pressed against the jar rim.

This creates the seal. Someting to mention is that it is fine to re-use canning jars but you have to use a new lid each time so you have a fresh plastisol seal. Once you take the jars out of the bath, do NOT tighten the lids or otherwise mess with them. You risk breaking the seal. If you are using two-piece lids it is ok at this point to gently remove the bands, leaving the lids in place. When the lid is sealed properly, you can tell because the button is depressed. If the button pops up the jar is not sterile. If the white cloudy material appeared in the jars while they were in the canner, I can only guess.

If it appeared later, it is probably mold and they should be discarded. See this FDA page: It has been a while since you asked so hopefully you already figured out what to do. Do this the same day before the product has a chance to cool down or to spoil. Hi Marisa, Thanks for the great information. I found your pictures of canned products especially helpful as mine were looking exactly the same.

So much easier when great pics explain it all! Cheers Sue — Townsville Austrailia. I canned some tomatoes in and the seal on the jar is still good. That did not occur with my other jars, have the tomatoes gone bad somehow? I have a question. I have been told not to transport my jars of tomatoes for several days after canning. For years I have carefully placed the jars in crates and not moved them from the kitchen into the cellar for several days.

Is this a myth or true? This year I have an opportunity to use an industrial kitchen for canning, but am concerned about transporting them in my vehicle while they are still warm. Once the seals have formed and the lids have cooled a bit, they are fine to transport. We processed it the same as the others and it sealed with a click just perfectly. What are the risks of leaving too much air in the jar?

Thank you in advance. There are a couple issues around leaving too much headspace. The first is that during the processing time, a jar typically vents all of its air. This venting voids the jar of air that can carry microorganisms and thus helps prevent spoilage and possible surface oxidation during storage. This venting is also what leads to the formation of the seal during the cooling phase. If you process a jar with too much headspace, the risk of spoilage and oxidation increases. Second is the fact that if you have too much headspace in a jar, there is a possibility that it will float in the canning pot.

But floating jars often end up breaking during the canning process, as the boiling water buffets them around the pot. Since you only have a bit more headspace than is called for, I think your jar will probably be fine and entirely shelf stable for some time to come! Canned tomatoes in their own juices. I water bathed some for 45 minutes and pressure canned some for 25 minutes. I have since read that if I cold pack slices in jars in their own juices I should water bath for 85 minutes. Only read this in one article. Is it ok that I only processed for 45 minutes in water bath canner?

The correct processing time for tomatoes packed in their own juices and canned in a water bath is 85 minutes. The tomatoes that you processed for 45 minutes will have a higher risk of spoilage. So, The jars that I just canned with tomatoes had about half natural tomato juices and half water.

I did also add lemon juice according to that same website. I have a question for anyone who can answer for me. I am a new canner and I am learning so please be nice and remember when you were once new. Here is my question. I was told it was okay to can my tomatoes in a regular pot. She said she has done it for years this way. I did this, I have been reading online and see this is not the best thing to do.

I need to know if the jars I have already done are okay to use or if I should toss them? They all have sealed. Very limited amount of bubbles, color looks great. How do I know if they are okay to eat? I have been checking them daily to make sure they have stayed sealed. Also will mention I did add salt and lemon and processed correct amount of time.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I now understand this is wrong, But is it so wrong I ruined 12 quarts of tomatoes. Tell me more about what you did. You can certainly use a regular pot as a boiling water bath canner. Were the jars fully submerged in the water?

And how long did you process the jars? I imagine you can use the same recommended times for a steam canner. I just removed my jars of tomatoes that I water bathed for 85 minutes. There is a little tomato residue in the pot of water I used to process them. I have canned 32 jars of tomatoes now. And only 6 have sealed.

I have followed the directions perfectly. The reason that so many jars have not sealed, is because the tomatoes boil out of the jar into the water bath.


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I have no idea how to prevent this from happening. What technique or recipe are you following? You are never supposed to reuse lids. The jars are sealed tight though. No lids are clicking. As I mentioned in this post, some liquid loss during canning is totally normal, provided that the jars still seal. I canned whole tomatoes raw packed in water for the first time and had a question on color. I processed the tomatoes straight from the garden! I also recently canned salsa with similar results in color. Are the tomatoes safe? And is there are reason they did not become deep red while processing?

They are whatever color they are. As long as you added the proper amount of acid and processed them for the correct amount of time, they are safe. I processed my tomatoes in their own juice and misunderstood the timing thinking the raw pack with water was the time to use so I only processed for 45 to 50 minutes.

They sealed okay so are they okay to use? The shorter processing time does mean that they have a higher risk of spoilage, though. I have canned tomatoes with my mother i law for many years. She never added lemon juice, just salt. Am I really endangering anyone if I do not use the lemon juice? Just found the easy way to peel my romas. Wash, dry and toss them in a gallon size baggie and put them into freezer. You can freeze 24 hours or just collect more over the week and add to the baggie. Remove a few at a time, run them under hot water and the skin slips right off.

A large stockpot for processing the jars A small, round rack to keep the jars off the bottom of the pot A smaller pot for blanching the tomatoes A tiny saucepan for simmering lids A kettle for boiling water 4 clean quart jars, new lids and rings A paring knife Jarred lemon juice A tablespoon measure 25 Roma tomatoes Boiling water How to can tomatoes: All photos by Marisa McClellan 6.

About Marisa Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated small batch canner who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Like reading this post? Get more delivered to your email inbox. Enter your email address Prefer to subscribe via RSS? Comments Susan Metcalf says: August 27, at 5: September 7, at 5: September 25, at 8: October 2, at 2: Hi Debbie, that is a bummer! Good luck with your next canning project! October 12, at 5: October 14, at 8: July 3, at 8: Do you have to heat tomato juice before pressure canning Thanks.

July 4, at August 3, at 7: September 7, at 1: October 8, at 4: September 2, at September 8, at 6: September 8, at 8: You need to add acid. September 11, at 8: Most other items seem to last. I grow six or seven jalapeno plants every year on the back deck. My wife turns them into the most wonderful jalapeno jelly I ever tasted. During the year it makes great little gifts … and it tastes good with bagels and cream cheese. I canned plain red beets in a water bath canner in July of I way over shot what I needed for a year and have a ton left over. That being said every time I eat my red beets it makes me very nervous.

I am buying a pressure canner this year. My question is how long are my red beets really good for. Those beets are totally unsafe and have been so from the start. You should throw them all away. You are asking for a botulism outbreak. I am canning hot packed pickled beets again this year, and water bathing for the required 30 minutes for my elevation for a long shelf life, but nowhere can I find if it is safe to leave the spices in.

I really enjoyed the taste of the spices left in, more so than removing the spices prior to packing the jars. I have found a few recipes that states specifically to put the spices in the jars prior to either hot or cold packing. I know leaving the spices in affects the taste, which is what I am going for. Does leaving the spices in affect the shelf life? Does cold packing and water bathing for 30 minute elevation affect the shelf life for pickled beets?

Thanks for any info you can give me. You can leave the spices in. And a hot pack is probably better in your case. Hi, I am about to do some tomatoe canning again. But this year, I want to attempt to can Italian stewed tomatoes. I am using Roma tomatoes. I only surfaced looked at your collection of recipes, but is there a recipe you can recommend? I use a water bathing method of processing and know the minimum time is 40 minutes using the hot packing method longer if needed.

What would the shelf life be? By the way, I canned apricots this year and used the hot packing methodology instead of cold the cold I had used in previous years. Fiasco is a polite way of describing how that whole canning process went. Blanching apricots is an art unto itself the apricots were perfect for canning too.

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Thanks for any help you can give. The only approved Italian stewed tomato recipes I can find require a pressure canner rather than a boiling water bath canner. Did you follow proper canning procedure? If so, your pork is probably okay. Just give it a good, close visual check before digging in. All went well with all 4 different tomatoe canning recipes I used and only lost 1 jar out of For whatever reason, there was leakage of fluids from some peach jars.

I made 3 batches and all 3 batches had fluid leakagefrom a jar s? Cleaned the canner inbetween each batch as well. All of the lids show a concaved sealed center. I will be calling Pr…. I never had this problem prior when I used the boiling water method! Any help will be great. Having some loss of liquid from the jars of peaches is entirely normal and happens in a boiling water bath as well as in a pressure canner.

There may have been some air bubbles trapped between the peach slices that pushed their way to the top of the jars that pushed some liquid out of the jars as the air vented during. Hi Marisa, thanks for answering all of my questions. Picked up some of your book suggestions on canning and pickling. Does it matter if I use brown sugar packed down to make equivalent to white sugar measurement or white sugar in a recipe for canning?

So uncertain about the brown sugar usage. Going for a hot packing beet canning recipe with a dry red wine and red wine vinegar, but would prefer to use brown sugar as opposed to white. Can I leave the dehydrated spices in the jars or will the wines affect the tastes of the spices more than white vinegar? Brown sugar is brown because of Molasses.

Plus, there is more than one type of white sugar… The kind from a sugar cane, and the kind from a sugar beet. I recently canned tomatoes in my pressure canner. Some of the tomatoes sunk from the top of the jar, while some stayed at the top of the jar. The seal is good. Why does this happen and is it still safe if the seal is secure, no color discoloration? If it was not pickled, then definitely dispose of it as if it potentially contains botulism toxins. There used to be a pressure canning process for summer squash, now it is not recommended as there is a density issue.

The labels on some indicated they were canned in the late s. Green beans, cherries mostly. I decided to empty them and clean the jars for a display, and as the jars mostly smelled alright, curiosity got the best of me. Amazingly, they still tasted alright! A bit bland, but decent enough, and no illness was suffered!

I am not saying I would make a habit of eating things that old, but given the right storage environment, it is possible to keep indefinitely. This is nothing something you can preserve. Dairy products cannot be canned, even with a pressure canner. How do brands can evaporated and condensed milk, and even whole milk?

I have pressure canned milk before, butter too. So far, no problems. Commercial producers have access to machinery that is able to achieve higher temperatures and pressures than is possible at home. My neighbor just gave me a jar of beetroot preserve, dated March It is now October Is it safe to eat??

The date is November 8th , looking at my canned beets from they are awefully grey and would not eat them myself. I would only give beets a shelf life of 3 years maximum and 2 years for optimal taste and nutrition! Hi there, I have recently preserved some of my tomatoes using a vacola a week ago. Now I would like to make them into a passata. Can I re preserve them in a vacola? Thank you, I look forward to your response. I want to know what is the beat storage for bean and ham soup? I have water bath them for What is the best way to store them?

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How long can I trust them in the fridge? Those would need to be frozen for long-term storage. C-Rations last a long time. Now… The question of your age.

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So… When did this allegedly take place? What year were the rations to expire when you consumed them? Did they make you, or anyone in your unit, sick? Perhaps you could clear up some of the mystery…. C-Rations were given to my father, also a Vietnam Veteran, and he says they tasted fine although the cigarettes were a bit stale.

Your are about 15, right? I cannned some blueberry sauce just over a year ago. All of the jars are still tightly sealed, but the sauce has seperated and all of the jars now consist of a congealed lump in the center surrounded by liquid yhw consistency of water. That loss of texture often happens in low sugar preserves. When you shake it, does it come back together? I just would like to ask a question..